One of the ways of making money
for the artistically inclined in the local population is carving
and other art works. I quite liked the look of this carved whale
vertebra but at about 2 feet across (60cm), weighing lots and
the small matter that I would breaking the law in a big way by
trying to import it to the UK meant that a photo was all I would
There were a couple of narwhal
tusks too one of which I would have happily bought despite the
By 1500 there were only about fifty narwhal tusks in existence.
They've come down in price in recent years though, when Queen
Elizabeth the First of England was
one by the explorer Sir Martin Frobisher in 1577 it was worth
about £10,000 at the time - more than the cost of a new castle,
the queen used it as a sceptre.
So in the last 450 years the value
of a narwhal tusk has fallen from a royal castle to about
These are pictures
from a cruise to the High Arctic in August 2010, from Resolute
Bay Canada to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.
Pictures copyright Paul Ward.
Pentax digital equipment.